WIW: a week of foot-friendly Converse looks

After doing Irish step dance every day for the past week, I had to give my feet a break. A foot injury (two years ago) led to custom orthotics to support my strong but very high arches and take the weight off the balls of my feet. The only shoes they fit in are my beloved Converse. I no longer wear the orthotics often, but I slipped the Converse on after my performances on Sunday and my feet felt sooooo good that I decided to wear them all week.

I got bored of them after three days. So, here are three WIWs, and tomorrow I'm back to other shoes.

Day 1:
I have a pair of loose, slightly bootcut wool trousers that I never wear. I tried to make them work with the sneakers by pegging the bottoms to make them a bit avant garde. I don't think it worked, so they are probably going to the consignment store. They are a size too big at the top, anyway.

Day 2:
A very me look. My J Crew wool Minnies, a long wool cardigan from the Gap that I wish I'd bought four of, and my new biker jacket. In putting this together I remembered that all my layering tees have holes. Time for new ones!

Day 3 (today):
Outfit fail. These jeans are folded under because I never got them hemmed. I need to hem them or replace them (they are baggy in the butt). I thought the pointed hem of the tshirt would work well with the cropped, draped sweater (which I love - Helmut Lang, total score at the thrift store) but they don't harmonize at all. It looks particularly bad from the side (not shown). Oh well!

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  • Jaime replied 10 years ago

    I am totally fascinated from the mention of Irish step dancing right down to the Helmut Lang sweater at the thrift store (which I love). I have some wide trousers that I also am planning to experimentally hem - even a bit shorter than you have done. I am almost certain it will look silly, but nothing ventured...
    Anyway, don't agree that #3 is a fail, and look forward to seeing that sweater in an outfit that you like, because it's great!

  • Liz A. replied 10 years ago

    fab, fab, and more fab!  something's different about those all stars.  are they low profile or something?

  • Ariadne replied 10 years ago

    I actually like #3.  Great outfits all around, and I love those converse--do they have leather alces or something?  Can't believe you thrifted HELMUT LANG.  So jealous.  

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Good catch, Liz. They are the "slim" version that Converse made for a few years. Thinner sole and actually a wider toebox, so I fit my normal shoe size instead of having to size up. I like them so much better that I stockpiled three new pairs when they discontinued them. (They still make the classic Chuck Taylors, of course.)

    Ariadne, the laces are regular black laces instead of the white ones the sneakers come with. I like the lower contrast.

    I think the Helmut Lang was from a resale store, not thrift per se. Crossroads Trading or somewhere like that. I've never found something that trendy at Goodwill though my roommate in college was like a magnet for amazing thrift store finds.

  • E replied 10 years ago

    It's so fun seeing your outfits, as you have such a strong sense of personal style. And clearly awesome thrifting mojo! #2 is so fab it makes me wish I had some longer cardigans! 1 and 3 aren't bad or failures, I don't think, but if you didn't feel as good in them then that's that. :)

    Also, I want to see you Irish step dancing! There's a documentary about it on Netflix I've got in my queue, but I think it's about kids.

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    If the documentary is Jig, it's really fun to watch. In fact, I want to watch it again. Irish dance is almost entirely kids/teens, but I started as an adult. When I compete (rarely) I'm in the over-19 group along with a bunch of college students 15 years younger than me. They have a lot more energy but I do ok too.

  • Jacky replied 10 years ago

    #1 and #2 are great! #2 is definitely more you and I really love the length differences between your cardigan and jacket. I definitely see what you mean about #3 not working out too. The pieces individually are nice (I can testify from seeing them in person :)), but the combination doesn't feel like it enhances them.

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Oh, and I meant to say that I'd love to post a video online of me dancing (a lot of friends want to see it) but the problem is, above the basic levels you're really discouraged from posting videos because each teacher choreographs his/her own steps for their own school and they're sort of like trade secrets. No recording is allowed at competitions both for that reason and to keep from distracting the dancers. So sad. But I should get a good video of me doing some of the traditional dances that everyone knows (no problem with recording those).

    Irish dance costumes are like the polar opposite of my own personal style, but I have to admit that all the sparkly materials and short skirts really stand out on stage!

  • catgirl replied 10 years ago

    Day 2 is perfection.  I will be copying!  I love that you match your floor tile.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Wow, you thrifted Helmut Lang? Or even scored on resale...still amazing. Gee, in my neck of the woods you are lucky to score Old Navy at resale. Seriously. 

    Love the sweater and look forward to seeing new outfits with it, although I do not think this one is a fail at all. It sounds like some of the perceived failure is about how it feels vs. how it looks anyway. 

    #2 is so fab! Love it. Are the Minnie pants basically leggings, or do you wear them as pants, too? 

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    They fit me as leggings, though they seem to work as pants on others. I never wear them without a long top over the waist. In general, things that are marketed as slim-but-not-legging often fit me as leggings because I have huge thigh & calf muscles for my hip and waist size.

    They're the Collection Minnies in a different wool than the standard bi-stretch wool ones and I think the fit is different. They were another resale store find and the size tag was cut out. They might be a size down from my usual; one size up might fit me more as pants. 

    As for resale/thrift scores, I'm lucky to live in an area with a lot of wealthy young people selling their clothes to Crossroads, etc. I've learned which stores have the best inventory. There are also a few really high-end consignment stores, but those are often out of my price range. Crossroads tends to put similar prices on everything regardless of original price, so a used Gap sweater might be $15 and a used Vince sweater might be $30 even if they originally sold for $30 vs $200.

  • carter replied 10 years ago

    Love #2 the best! Great lines to the whole outfit.

    Is that an empty closet you're standing in? Those don't exist in my house...so wish they did! Some day.

  • Sarah A replied 10 years ago

    I am so impressed with your style. I love the HL top (resale shop? score!!!!) and the moto is fab. I am not sure if it is your lovely hair or smile but you look so approachable even in your black moto. I find myself worrying that i look too "hard" in some more avant garde pieces. Although i really am starting to acquire a desire for them ; ) ... thanks to YLF of course. I feel like I am chronologically older than you but still very immature when it comes to honing my look. I am excited to follow more of your posts!

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    It is an empty closet! We just moved in. It's me, my boyfriend, and (just on weekends) my best friend and his wife. The empty closet is in their room. Our room doesn't have a closet at all. There's a big hall closet, and I just bought some racks to "display" my favorite clothes in the bedroom. I almost regret choosing my smaller but nicer room over their bigger, closet-enabled room! And since they're never here (they have a house down near his job and come up to the city on weekends) I don't know that they'll use their closet at all, but since they're paying rent I certainly don't want to start usurping their space. So in the meantime, since it has bright sunlight and a mirror, it's my photo spot.

  • gryffin replied 10 years ago

    Grayscale - OMG outfit 2 is so totally awesome!!  Love, love, love that biker jacket on you!!  I know you did threads on this but may I ask which jacket you kept?  Fabulous!!

  • replied 10 years ago

    Love all three of these! There's not much in my thrift stores (I live in a city with a quite low median income)

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Gryffin, I actually kept neither of the original options. This is a Theyskens Theory jacket that I found on ebay. It's this one:


    But, Jacky ended up getting the big Theory one that I posted before, but in olive green, and it fits her so much better on her than mine did!

  • gryffin replied 10 years ago

    Well the Theyskens Theory looks hyperventilation gorgeous on you!!  Enjoy it!!  Jacky looks great in that Theory jacket too!!  You both made fantastic choices!!

  • unfrumped replied 10 years ago

    Fab jacket and asymmetrical items!

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Sarah A, your comment got me thinking a lot. First, thanks for the compliments. Like a lot of us on YLF, I still have a mental image of my old unfashionable self (I was truly the hopeless nerd in school) and I'm still in the middle of a style journey towards my own look. But I also know that I've had a much much easier time looking like myself the past few years, so I'm so excited that I've improved so much. YLF has been great for pushing me to be more intentional about my clothing choices. I just scrolled back through your WIWs and your sense of style comes through loud and clear.

    Second, it's an interesting point about worrying about things looking too edgy or hard. I think we all often see our own items as more extreme than anyone else will see them. I just posted a WIW with a sparkly sweatshirt that is really pushing my comfort level with shiny-ness, and yet I doubt anyone else would even notice it aside from maybe thinking "oh, that's a cool shiny top". Especially since casual metallic knits are everywhere these days.

    I have little tricks for toning down the edginess of things when I'm feeling insecure. Like, low contrast outfits can make a statement piece not stand out as much. I do feel like my biker jacket is a bit too much at times, so I choose other toppers when I don't want to stand out. But then again, compared to my daily look in college (a giant men's biker jacket and doc martens) it's polished enough for most circumstances.

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